Technology is constantly changing; and while I want to be sure that I am bringing my students all the new opportunities it can provide, I only want to use technology that is meaningful (who has time for bells and whistles?!?). Happily last summer I found a program called "Duolingo" that is a lot of the good things:
How does it work?
When a new player starts play begins with a placement test ( you can not retake it, so I recommend a quiet room, not having 3 kids crawling all over you while you take it, like a certain teacher). After testing you will be placed and begin lessons at the appropriate level. You must keeo enough hearts to survive a lesson. Lessons include learning new words, reading, writing, and speaking. Once you complete enough lessons you earn "lingots" (jewels you can earn to buy new challenges, outfits for your owl, or even give to friends).
Protip: Dont drive yourself nuts (like a certain teacher again), and try to get 100% fluency your proficiency level is based on how often you play, not your skill level after you firar place (tricky Duolingo).
What is the best way to get started?
I recommend starting by setting up your teacher account. You can "add a class" for each teacher. Then simply give your students the class code (or post a link on your site) and let them sign up. Students can even compete with their friends!
How do parents and kids like it? Does it work?
An enthusiastic yes for enjoyment. I have several families where siblings have joined in, and in some cases entire families. They then switched entire parts of their evening to Spanish after learning together. Thanks Duolingo!
Students will also return to class and share words they learned independently.
Is it valuable?
I think this is a valuable resource for practice at home, a supplement or brushing up old skills, but probably not a stand alone program
What do you think? Will you Duolingo?
Entering my 13th year in the classroom; I am a TPRS/CI Elementary Spanish Teacher. Passionate about TPRS/CI, Brain based learning, and using technology to bring the world to our students, and our students to the world.